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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Shuffling Shuffling

So for Mother's day this year I got to do laundry and clean out the basement. Adam did call and I got a nice gift from Brandi and Jackson, but other than that it's a bit ho-hum around here. According to David I'm not his mother and that's that. Oh well. So - we are (hoping) to get started on shuffling all the real estate around soon. We are still wanting  to close earlier but so far no amount of wailing and emailing has moved the date. The buyer for our flip is ready and so are we! but you know how lawyers go. I asked David if he thought she could be bought by a pair of handmade socks but he didn't think so - so we wait.

The game plan is as soon as we close we can start ferrying the small stuff over to declutter the house - not that it's that cluttered mind you but books need to be off the shelves, pictures down, counters cleared. It needs to look like someone can live there - not lived in. I have half of my knitting stuff boxed up, after that goes the other half will follow. Today I did the root cellar in the basement where we put a lot of our  attic-y things, Jackson and Adam still have stuff here. But Jackson is clear across the country and in the Navy, Adam is apartment living in New Orleans. I did weed it down (the real junky junk went) the rest we will slog over to the new house for now. All told it's about 10 small to medium boxes so it's fine. I have to say it's so much easier when we do it a little at a time as opposed when we've had to pack up all at once

When you do that you start off really good - sorting, carefully wrapping and packing, labeling each box clearly. Halfway through - it's every man for himself. You just start flinging stuff in a box and taping it shut like your latest murder victim is in there - you arrive at your destination with a pile of boxes marked "CRAP" in big psychotically angry letters. You can't find any household stuff - the mops, the shower curtains, the cleaning supplies are all gone. Then you remember you threw them all out because you can buy them when you get there - which is how you end up exhaustively flinging stuff in a cart at Walmarts and the bill tallies up to What! because you didn't realize how much it would cost to replace it. Yeah - not my first rodeo. So we are trying to do a bit a couple of times a week and offloading the things we are really not keeping - my dresser with the drawers that fall out , the lamp that doesn't work but we keep hoping the Magical Thinking will work and fix it, on and on. But all I can think is - it will be nice to be done.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Not My President

Years ago in my junior year of high school I was stalked for a brief period of time - he just started following me everywhere - I could not make him stop. I did tell the school and was told they could do nothing - because he hadn't actually "done" anything -  but I should come back if he did. I say it was brief because I used to walk home for lunch and one day my mother came home early and saw him. When I told her why he was lurking outside she went out and gave him an earful - and it ended that day. Because in my mother's opinion waiting for him to do something was not a good option. And so it is with Trump.

The other day someone asked me what he had done - had my rights been violated? Had I been denied property? Even abortion is still in place. But like my stalker  he's not doing a full on attack - that would get him impeached or someone would wing him - not smart. Instead, he and his posse are nipping like  pirhanas at the edges til they bring us down. He didn't ban abortion - but they are defunding Planned Parenthood and any other abortion providers. Despite the fact that NO government funding goes to this - it is a travesty as abortion is such a small but important part of their services. He has made it ok to berate and belittle women by his actions - did you see the inauguration pictures where his wife walked behind him with her head down? The horrible things he has said about women - and still does?

He has made the religious faction more brave, the southern states have been trying to pass anti - gay laws. And no most of them are not effective, but you know what? You throw enough shit at a wall some it is bound to stick. The trump supporters turn a blind eye to his activities with Russia, his employing family members, that he is still running his businesses - it's jaw dropping. So no, he has not actually "done" too much yet - but it's not for lack of trying - and do we really want to wait until he does?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Go With Your Gut

Last week  I had one of those situations where I had to make a decision on which way to act. Do I do nothing and wait? Or do I act? I'm not going to talk about what the situation was but there was a point that I was .....uncomfortable. I kept coming back to it, do I go with what I'm being told , or what I feel? I went with what I felt, there's a reason they call it a "gut feeling" - because you really DO feel it there - don't you? It's like a lump just sitting there and if you ignore it, it moves to your chest.The longer you ignore it the harder it gets, your chest gets tight, heart rate is up , anxious anxious anxious. Some theory states that your gut feelings are actually based on layers of past experience, that somewhere you retained that distant memory and when a similar situation comes up that is what gives you that odd sort of anxiety. I have to say, I don't like it

Did you ever notice when your in that situation you tend to second guess yourself? I get so afraid of that I'm wrong I initially don't  want to say anything - who wants to look like an idiot? I think as a nurse I probably deal with this more than the average person, when I first started there was more than one restless 8 hours in which I ran it over and  over in my head - should I have said something? Did I do the right thing? By morning (or actually evening since I worked the night shift) I would have myself in jail, all of my property divided up by the lawyers that unsucessfully represented me, my children hanging thier heads in deep shame for even knowing me. The patient of course would always be dead, no halfway measures for me! I'd go to work with my stomach in a knot and then........well, nothing 99.5% of the time.  The other Once In A While tended to be no big deal. So you would think I keep my mouth shut - nope.

Because over time I've realized it's better to feel like an idiot for waving that red flag. I can recover from idiocy and usually do on a weekly basis. :)
I can apologize for over-reacting, for being wrong, for hopping on that runaway train and taking other people with me. My gut does not sing that often, but I listen to it - and I've found there is a difference between winding myself up and when something is truly wrong. When I'm just messing with me it tends to be quiet hysteria, when it's the real deal there are bells going off in my head, I cannot leave it alone. I will keep going back, different angles until I feel like I've fixed it. And I'm glad I can do that - but thank goodness it does not happen that often!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Getting Back On That Horse

So, I've been really good for the past 3 or 4 months diet wise. I'm back to working out in the morning before work, I'm using the Weight Watchers online to track my food, I have a Fitbit that records my steps, my exercise and rattles my cage several times a day to get up and move. This was actually funny when traveling because it always seemed to choose to start with it's Get Up And Go! messages as we were mid flight. I didn't feel anyone would appreciate me power walking my 250 steps up and down the aisle so I chose to ignore it and let it be disappointed in me. It's actually been fairly rough going - on the upside I've lost 20 pounds. On the downside the Herculean Effort it took is distressing and often makes me want to throw in the towel to simply spend the rest of my life as a hot mess

Some days I feel like if burp twice I need to record that somewhere since I seem to have to write everything else down. But I persevere, because I know if I stop I will not only stop losing weight but I'll start to gain it. And if history repeats itself I'll gain an extra ten or so on top of it. Yuck. But you do have to have some sort of moderation,when I was on vacation I did eat crap and stuff, but not epic amounts of it. I saved the Epic Amounts for the trip home where I announced I would be eating nothing but junk from one end of the continent to the other - which I sort of did. But you can only eat so much in a short period of time so it was not that bad. This weekend was my birthday so I have eaten pecan pancakes, grilled cheese and cake (twice) but I will be back on track on Monday. The cake is really the only official crap in the house, the rest if fat free, vegetable and fruit stuff. 

And the other thing I HATE to admit is I do feel better when I eat right. Which sucks. Why can't Dairy Queen be good for you? Or Peeps? But there's a lot of good for you stuff that I do enjoy so I suppose I should stop complaining. Not to mention there is one more piece of birthday cake.........

Saturday, April 29, 2017


So, I'm sure part of  the reason I'm thinking about my grandmother today is because my sister posted a few days ago that it was her birthday. But the flip side of that is that today is my birthday, which is the day that Grandma Carter passed away.
The resulting phone call from my mother that morning was one of those things that was so - I have no words, it was terrible, but also still makes me smile due to the odd mix of the call. She called in the morning to tell me that grandma had passed peacefully in her sleep very early in the morning and she knew I would be upset, but then she sort of sobbed out "Happy Birthday" and I think I meeped out a thank you. I still have no idea how one should respond to that. The rest of the day was quiet and a little shocked, it's not that I didn't expect it, but as we all know that jarring emptiness comes on fast - expected or not. I probably remember it clearly because it was so disjointed - cake was out of the question of course, I cannot imagine a round of Happy Birthday To You, not to mention what kind of wish you could make. So we had take out, my cousin Tim came over and Jackson insisted on sitting right next to him as he usually did (Tim has very dramatic Black Irish coloring with the black hair and very blue eyes - for some reason it fascinated Jackson to no end. It also made Tim hilariously uncomfortable as Jackson would stare and make all sort of comments as to how amazing he was, then he would be black and blue and red in the face from sheer embarrassment . We had a chocolate pie after dinner since the kids knew it was my birthday and we had to do something. It is still one of the strangest - and saddest days of my life.

But, you know what - every year on my birthday that does cross my mind. But then I start thinking about her - how many afternoons did we pass at her house playing forts in the living room and being Box Turtle Owners til dinner time when we had to let them go? Her teaching me to knit and bake, helping her clean out the closets and finding spice cans that were older than Methuselah - that we put back because you never know when you might need that. The long afternoons over tea gossiping about family members and long ago memories, Grandma correcting me on my family tree which she knew by heart and all the crazy family stories.  She taught us all patience, kindness and that it's ok to listen to gossip (which is fun) but not to spread it. She gave all of us our drive, our work ethic - she ran a lumber yard in an era where other women stayed home - she's the one that gave me my hard core feminist slant and my independence.  And now that I'm a grandmother if I can be the woman she was to me to my own granddaughters, I will be so proud of me.

So it was sad that she died on my birthday, it was sad that she died at all. But every year it guarantees that she will be in my thoughts and she will continue to guide me and the rest of us that knew her - to try to be all that she was.

Monday, April 24, 2017

End Of The Tour

If anyone is interested - and I doubt it - End Of The Tour is the name of one my favorite They Might Be Giants song which is why I occasionally use it. Anyhoo, The vacation went well and we had a great time seeing Jackson, Brandi and the girls. The last day we went to Deception Pass beach - I'm always amazed at the amount of driftwood on the beaches which you are not allowed to take by the way. We went out to a Mexican restaurant and for a pair of one year olds - they do very well. Delilah had me laughing, she does not like to be fed but since they were having rice and beans for dinner Jackson did give it a try. Every time the spoon got near she would open her mouth a pinhole which of course made it impossible. Mission accomplished and beans in her hair. They spent most of the time people watching and grinning at who ever was smiling at them.

We found a shuttle service that picks up ten minutes from their house which makes things much easier. The flight home was not too bad except for when we left Seattle. They had overbooked the flight wildly - by 15 seats - and I love the way they make it the passenger's problem. First they announce 20 times they are looking for volunteers. Then they start calling names and asking those people to "please come see the agents" , etc... it really makes you mad, doesn't it? One of the women in my knitting group worked for the airlines and said years ago overbooking made sense. You used to make your reservation and then paid when you got there. What used to happen was people would make 5 or 6 reservations to make sure they got a flight which would leave tons of empty seats for the no shows.She said one airline would usually double book 50 seats on a regular basis. But now you pay for your flight ahead of time, they are nonrefundable and non transferable with huge penalties - usually if someone misses their flight it's got to be a very good reason. So you would think the days of over booking would be over, wouldn't you?

We were allowed to take the flight we paid for (sigh) - I was also better prepared this time for traveling with David who prides himself on being a Light Traveler - translation - he brought nothing to do on a 8 hour flight with a two hour lay over not to mention the two hour wait prior to the flight. I have an ereader app on my tablet so David read old Robert B. Parker mysteries to and fro which he enjoyed a great deal. We arrived at the airport - along with our luggage on time so not too shabby. We use Globe parking - it's half what the airport charges and they pick you up and drop you off so you don't have to spend time looking for a space - or where you parked your car. When you get there your car is all warmed up and ready to go - I really like them. We got home around 1:30 am and by the time we got unpacked, the first load of wash started, the litter trays emptied, etc.... it was 2:30 so I'm having a little bit of trouble getting out of bed this morning. Back to work tomorrow and real life, but we had a really nice vacation.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Wheeling and Dealing.

So, while we have been enjoying the (somewhat) sunny shores of Washington State that does not mean that life back home stopped. We had originally sold the Waynesburg house to a couple that disappeared as quickly as they appeared. We've had that happen in the past -our record for selling one house is 5 times - but it's annoying when people decide to back out and then refuse to answer their phone. If they changed Thieu minds it's annoying but nothing is signed - but in the meantime we had turned two potential buyers away  as this couple assured us they were approved for the loan and would be there Monday.  Jerks. 

So, as this silliness was going on our real estate agent had been showing us foreclosures and we have looked at probably 10 of them, with her and on our own. If we see one a lot of times we'll drive out to look at it first because if you think they lie about market value houses you have no clue what they do to sell a foreclosure. Some of them have trees growing in the living room, some are just so weird and off the grid you wonder how they got built in the first place, others are so water damaged there is no fixing them. And then we came across this house. It's way out of our flip budget but ....... it's perfect. For us. And our house that we live in now has literally doubled in value in the past 5 years. What's a girl to do!

We decided to have Candy sell our Waynesburg house - you know what, if you use a real estate it DOES cut into your profit. But you don't have to handle the contract, the showings, the inspections, etc...not to mention they have a client base looking for houses. So we put her to work and we had so many responses David showed the house too and it is under contract for real - for more money so it worked out. We then put an offer on the other house and it was accepted after a week of back and forth. But this will leave us VERY house poor as we still hold the mortgage on the house in Fairmont and there will be a point where we own four houses. Eek!

SO the game plan is this - we are hoping our little mortgage holder will get on the ball and get her own mortgage by this summer, we will be closing on the house we're selling on the same day that we close on the house we're buying so the only thing we'll feel is the breeze as the money rushes by us, THEN we'll be putting our house on the market as soon as David gets a few rooms live able in our new home.  It's only about 25 minutes from where I'm living now but closer to work is closer to work and I'm really excited about it. The former owner left a picture of the house in it's glory days and we are looking forward to restoring it to it's original condition. It's a little scary and the thought of trucking all of our stuff from Point A to Point B again is not something I even want to think about - but really, this house I hope will be our opus.